This program was created by a local marketing agency, 502, in partnership with the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation (GMCF) – a tax-exempt public charity created by and for the people in a local area.

GMCF enables people with philanthropic interests to easily and effectively support the issues they care about – immediately, or through their will. Donors can establish a charitable fund at the Foundation by contributing a variety of assets and may also recommend grants – in their name, if they choose – to nonprofit groups they want to support. 

Simple. Buy a gift card and give a gift card of grocery assistance.

When you buy a gift card from one of the participating businesses, the amount that you spend will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a fund at the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation. That money will then be spent on providing food assistance via grocery store gift cards to individuals impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

So, if you spend $100 on a gift card at your favorite local small business, we will give away $100 of Dillon’s/Hy-Vee gift cards to people in need. 

There is no doubt that the economic devastation from this shutdown of our economy, both locally and nationally, is creating very difficult times for businesses of all industries. 

We chose to support hospitality and retail businesses through this program because these businesses have been disproportionally affected by the restrictions on group gatherings. These businesses play a huge role in supporting our overall quality of life in Manhattan and they need our help. 

The money that funds the dollar-for-dollar match has been donated by the Ward & Brenda Morgan Donor Advised Fund, the
Lincoln & Dorothy Deihl Advised Fund, the Mary Vanier Donor Advised Fund, Bruce & Megan Weber, The Butler Family Community Foundation, The Jack Goldstein Charitable Trust and The Marty Vanier Donor Advised Fund. 

If you would like to financially support our cause, please click here.

Of course! There is a fund at the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation set up to receive tax-deductible donations for this very purpose. Please click here to learn more.

 Yes – we are only selling the gift cards online! You will buy them from our website and redeem them at your favorite store after the social distancing period is over.

Please wait 72 hours before attempting to pick up your gift card. To pick up your gift card, you need to take your order confirmation to the store(s) that you purchased the gift card for. Present your confirmation to the staff and they will give you your gift card. 

We cannot control national, state or local bans or restrictions on business operation, nor can we control the restaurant’s will to be open for business. Please expect delays in receiving your physical gift card and only collect your gift card once it has been safe/appropriate to do so! 

The unfortunate news is that we will likely see businesses in Manhattan go under as a result of this global pandemic and ensuing recession.

We hope knowing that you tried to support your favorite local businesses while getting grocery money into your neighbors’ hands is enough to compel you to participate.

In the event that a business closes, your gift card may be deemed unusable by that business. There are no refunds offered as a part of this community support program. 

Absolutely! You will receive a confirmation email that has a redemption code in it once you make a purchase. You can give this code to the recipient and have them pick up the card at their convenience – provided it is safe to do so and they have verified that the business is open.

Alternatively, you may pick up the gift card yourself from the business and then give the physical gift card to your recipient. 

Yes!  Follow the suggestions of the CDC and our government! We have to stop this virus before we can start to recover. There are additional funds at the GMCF doing other important work in Manhattan. You can learn more about those here.

Find ways to be of service to your neighbors and community. Maybe give that friend a call that you haven’t talked to in a while. Send flowers to the nurses at the hospital or a resident stuck up at Meadowlark Hills. We will all get through these strange times together.

All credit card transactions from this website are being processed by the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation, a local 501c3 organization. 

We will do our best to email reports every Monday showing you if you are owed money. If you are, we will mail you a check on that Tuesday.

Our goal is to be issuing payments weekly. 

To qualify for this program, the following criteria must be true:

  1. The business must be in one of the following business categories:

    Bars & Restaurants



    Retail Sales
    Specialty store
    Department store
    Drug store
    Discount store
    Used goods

    Health & Beauty
    Fitness centers

  2. The business must be located within the city limits of Manhattan, Kansas.
  3. The business owner, or majority shareholder, must reside within the greater Manhattan region, defined as Manhattan + 25mi radius.
  4. The business must currently sell and accept gift cards and/or gift certificates.
  5. The business must employ (or had been employing as of 3/10/20) a minimum of three people, either part-time or full-time.

Provided you meet all of the other criteria and you intend to reopen – yes! We take care of all of the leg work and will send you weekly checks.

Sorry, no. Not at this time. If you develop a gift card or gift card solution, you may apply. 

We will send a weekly report showing the total sales for your store. 

You do not need to create the gift card until the customer has come to your store to claim their purchase.

No. Only gift card purchases that are processed through this website are eligible for the 1:1 match in grocery gift card assistance. 

To qualify for this program you must: 

  1. Be a resident of or be employed in Manhattan, Kansas. 
  2. Be able to reasonably demonstrate a need for financial assistance.

Determination of eligibility is based on the following factors:

  • Reduction of wages due to job status change
  • Number of individuals in the household
  • Other household income available

We are only accepting applicants with Manhattan addresses or individuals who work (or were working) in Manhattan, Kansas at this time. You can find other food assistance options in our community by visiting this directory.

We will contact you if your application has been approved. If you do not hear from us, your application was not approved. If you still are seeking assistance, please use this directory to locate the appropriate supporting organizations.  

In order to keep our community as safe as possible, we will be sending gift cards out through the USPS. We hope that within one week of approving your application you will have the gift card in your hands.

This determination will be made by staff at the supporting social service offices on a case by case basis, largely based on the demand and the amount of total money available. 

Please contact us according to the nature of your request

Business Applications
Vern Henricks
(785) 564-2121

Food Assistance Applications
Tara Claussen
(785) 776-3779

Press & Media
Blade Mages
(785) 614-1442